Today Jason from Evolution Print gave a talk about the business and lithograph printing in general. I have heard of Evolution Print before through the Leeds Print Festival's but Lithograph printing is something I knew little about.
Evolution Print is a lithograph printer based in Sheffield.
There are no plates involved in digital printing whereas in lithograph printing images are burnt onto plates.
When talking about sheet sizes Jason explained that lithograph printers can print from SRA3 to A1, but to leave 20mm around the edge of your design.
Lithograph printers don't commercially print less than 70gsm and can print up to 450gsm.
When discussing stock Jason mentioned the three main types of stock are gloss, silk and uncoated. He explained that uncoated stocks are most common for graphic work as images appear flatter and give a more tactile and organic feel. The flat looking image is created on this stock as when the dot hits the paper it slightly spreads.
With gloss and silk papers images appear sharper, these papers are more popular for commercial use.
Uncoated stocks feel heavier and so this can mount up making a document feel thicker. This gives a hands on feel.
- This is appropriate to my print info pack as I have been thinking about how to incorporate some basic information about stock, and including these three main types would give some initial guidance and
Another consideration when choosing stock, if you are using expensive papers from GFSmith or Fedrigoni bear in mind 300 pieces of paper will be wasted for the make readies.
Lithograph vs Digital print
Lithograph printing gives a better quality print but this comes at a cost.
The maximum sheet size for digital print is SRA3, 320mm by 450mm.
Evolution Print use vegetable based inks whereas digital printers use powder based inks that sit on top of paper.
In digital printing all colours must be made from full colour process, meaning you cannot use spot colours whereas you can in lithograph printing - you can use a pure 5th colour however this will be an added cost.
How are things charged in digital printing
Charged per sheet, 5 to 10 pence per sheet.
Around 30p a colour sheet, double sided would be double this so 60p a sheet.
There is no set up charge for digital printing.
How are things charged in lithograph printing
Lithograph initial costs are based on make readies. You also pay for a 5th colour as you pay for the washing, cost of plates.
With a B2 machine a full set of plates costs around £100, £60 for make ready.
What is a make ready?
The plates are put onto the machine and you have to then get the inks ready to the right level.
Things Designers Get Wrong
Bleed - 3mm all the way around. Include stroke, crop marks, etc.
Send brochures, booklets, etc. in single pages not spreads.
If there are spot colours in the artwork that are not needed change to cmyk.
Don't use spot colours with transparencies, they do not work. Set them as overprint.
If perforating, using UV, etc. send these in a separate file to overprint.
Keep image size to roughly the size it is going to be used. Keep resolution to 300dpi.
Can get 16 pages to one SRA3.
Try work in 8, 16 or 32 pages.
If you have to add extra sections this will be extra money.
Two colour designs can work well if you experiment with the design you can achieve good results at a lower cost.
Think about if you are going to see the benefit of using expensive stock as if the design has a lot of ink it may not be worth the expense.
Jason mentioned the hands on aspect of print a lot throughout this talk and this is something I am particularly interested in and is a focus of my print info pack. This has made me think more about the tactile aspect of print and the fun of printing yourself.